Celebrating 150 Years of Tradition and Small Businesses: Marketing Insights for the 150th Kentucky Derby

April 22, 2024

Written by Grant Kelly

celebrating 2024 Kentucky-derby

The Kentucky Derby, often referred to as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports,” is not only a premier horse racing event but also a golden opportunity for businesses, especially small businesses, to engage with a wide audience. As we approach the historic 150th edition of this iconic race, we can’t help but think about all the opportunities local businesses have to cast a wider net. During Small Business Month, marketers are gearing up to capitalize on the excitement and tradition surrounding the event and probably putting everything cent on Sierra Leone!   


Celebrating 150 Years of Tradition and Supporting Small Businesses: Since its start in 1875, the Kentucky Derby has captured the hearts of millions worldwide. From the fancy hats to the thrill of the race itself, the event embodies a unique blend of sporting excellence and cultural celebration. This year’s milestone 150th edition not only promises to be even more special but also presents a huge opportunity to shine a spotlight on small businesses. Let’s look at some examples of how you can get your company in front of new potential clients while also making the most of the Kentucky Derby craze:  


  1. Support Local: Emphasize partnerships with local small businesses for Derby-themed products, services, or promotions. Highlighting collaborations with small businesses not only strengthens community ties but also demonstrates a commitment to supporting local economies. 
  1. Community Engagement: Engage with local communities by hosting Derby-themed events or pop-up shops featuring small businesses. By bringing people together to celebrate both the Derby and Small Business Month, businesses can foster a sense of belonging and camaraderie. 
  1. Social Responsibility: Showcase corporate social responsibility efforts by giving back to small businesses or communities in need. Consider donating a portion of Derby-related sales to local small business associations or offering assistance to struggling entrepreneurs. 
  1. Amplifying Small Business Stories: Share stories of small businesses that embody the spirit of entrepreneurship and resilience. Use your marketing channels to spotlight their successes, challenges, and contributions to the local community. 


Expanding your reach and staying up to date can be challenging for small business owners. However, these tactics can serve as valuable tools throughout the year, applicable to almost any event or holiday, ultimately simplifying your role. As we continue to celebrate tradition and support small businesses through the Kentucky Derby, it’s essential to look ahead to the marketing opportunities presented by May’s upcoming events. From May the 4th Be With You to Cinco de Mayo and Memorial Day, businesses have a diverse array of occasions to leverage for engaging and impactful marketing campaigns. By embracing these events and weaving them into their marketing strategies, businesses can forge meaningful connections with customers and contribute to the vibrancy of our cultural tapestry.  

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